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What Are The Best-Selling Wines Of The Pandemic?

What are consumers drinking? According to top e-commerce alcohol app Minibar Delivery, bubbly and … [+] GETTY

As we all take to fueling our pandemic fugue state with alcohol, what wine has been commanding consumer interest?

Looking into the top wine sales according to e-commerce alcohol giant Minibar Delivery, Whispering Angel has topped the pandemic period. The wildly successfully rosé brand from Provence’s Chateau d’Esclans helped push the category into the spotlight over a decade ago, and continues to be the bannerman for the Rosé All Day movement. In late November, LVMH purchased a 55% stake in the thriving brand, bringing the brand into the same stable as Moët & Chandon, Krug and Hennessy.

By sales, the second best-selling wine of the pandemic is Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. Though the world is in lockdown, drinkers are still finding a way to celebrate with bubbles. Following behind Veuve Clicquot is another sparkling brand (albeit at a more affordable price point)—La Marca Prosecco. 

Bubbles prove to be a popular buy over the pandemic period, as Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut ranks the seventh best-selling bottle in terms of sales on Minibar Delivery. 

In a recent IWSR report examining the post-pandemic rebound of the spirits industry, bubbly is a bright spot—sparkling wine posted a growth of +1.4% volume and a +3.6% value in 2019 as the rest of the wine industry slumped. The bubbly industry is forecasted to rebound stronger than still wine by 2024. 

The crowd-pleasing Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is the fourth best-selling bottle by sales, according to Minibar Delivery.

In fifth, juicy California standout Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. “During the pandemic consumers have concentrated their wine purchases with brands they trust and wines that they know are delicious,” says Tom Steffanci, president of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, the company that owns Josh Cellars. “We are fortunate that Josh Cellars is among the most beloved wine brands and we’ve seen our sales Skyrocket growing 61% since the start of shelter in place orders began.”

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc continues to reign along with Oyster Bay as Kim Crawford’s take on the varietal takes sixth place. Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc ranks tenth, making a strong showing for SauvignonCloudy Bay’s eSauvignon Blanc is the vineyard’s flagship varietal, and under the guidance of parent company LVMH, the wine has helped New Zealand become renowned for stellar Sauvignon. 

One oddity the Minibar Delivery team noticed is rosé’s noticeable exclusion from the top ten rankings. Despite the summer weather that usually harkens lighter wines, consumers continue to reach for bottles of red.

“We’ve definitely seen a change in behavior in regards to wine,” says a rep. “More customers are purchasing red blends when traditionally they’re drinking white this time of year. And, as you may notice, there are only 2 rosé’s in the top 10 by volume for this month when normally, summer calls for a spike in rosé sales.”

There are only two rosés that ranked in the top ten by sales: Wolffer Estate’s Summer in a Bottle rosé—an East Coast wine that is a staple of Hamptons and New York summers, and the earlier Whispering Angel.

Looking at sales by volume, Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc was the top-selling wine on Minibar Delivery. Continuing on the bubbly trend, La Marca Prosecco was the second-best selling bottle by volume and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label was in eighth. 

Rose had a slight presence in top volume sales, with Whispering Angel Rosé in third and Dark Horse Rosé in tenth. 

Josh Cellars’ Cabernet Sauvignon continued to rank as the fourth most popular bottle by volume. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have increased our marketing spend to speak even more directly to consumers through digital and social media advertising and via promoting our partnerships through e-commerce partners Drizly, Instacart and Minibar,” says Steffanci. “We have also increased investment with Ibotta to deliver digital offers directly to consumers. At a time when many are pulling back, we are investing and we’re grateful to be meeting their needs and bringing some enjoyment during these difficult times.”

There are a few other repetitions between the top sales and volumes list—Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc found success in fifth place by volume, while Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label was in eighth. 

A surprising difference between the by-sales and by-volumes list is red wine has been moving huge volumes. Alamos Malbec was the sixth-best selling wine by volume while The Pinot Project Pinot Noir was seventh and Apothic Red was ninth.

This article published by Kate Dingwall is a spirits and wine writer by day, and a sommelier by night. 


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